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Catastrophic extinctions follow deforestation in Singapore

Brook, Barry W., Sodhi, Navjot S. and Ng, P. K. L. (2003). Catastrophic extinctions follow deforestation in Singapore. Nature,424(6947):420-423.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Catastrophic extinctions follow deforestation in Singapore
Author Brook, Barry W.
Sodhi, Navjot S.
Ng, P. K. L.
Journal Name Nature
Publication Date 2003
Volume Number 424
Issue Number 6947
ISSN 0028-0836   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-0043267996
Start Page 420
End Page 423
Total Pages 4
Abstract The looming mass extinction of biodiversity in the humid tropics is a major concern for the future(1), yet most reports of extinctions in these regions are anecdotal or conjectural, with a scarcity of robust, broad-based empirical data(2-4). Here we report on local extinctions among a wide range of terrestrial and freshwater taxa from Singapore (540 km(2)) in relation to habitat loss exceeding 95% over 183 years(5,6). Substantial rates of documented and inferred extinctions were found, especially for forest specialists, with the greatest proportion of extinct taxa (34-87%) in butterflies, fish, birds and mammals. Observed extinctions were generally fewer, but inferred losses often higher, in vascular plants, phasmids, decapods, amphibians and reptiles (5-80%). Forest reserves comprising only 0.25% of Singapore's area now harbour over 50% of the residual native biodiversity. Extrapolations of the observed and inferred local extinction data, using a calibrated species-area model(7-9), imply that the current unprecedented rate of habitat destruction in Southeast Asia(10) will result in the loss of 13-42% of regional populations over the next century, at least half of which will represent global species extinctions.
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Created: Wed, 28 Nov 2007, 14:16:08 CST